Our first roll of 16mm color negative film... I remember it well.
I'm actually really excited to share this treat from my film school past.
This was our very first roll of 16mm color negative film and the assignment was to simply shoot it out, or at least that's what I remember.
We knew that we wanted to use A LOT of colors because, duh, and because we were curious to see how they all looked on film. We also knew we wanted to use as much film as possible in the final edit.
Film stock and processing are not super cheap and it all adds up fast. If anything has taught me economy in filmmaking and storytelling, it is definitely shooting on film. I feel like I've said that about a million times before, but I'm saying it again!
This is how it all went down: we were broken up into groups. I'd be interested to know if any of the other groups have their films posted - share them friends! I believe we had one class to brainstorm an idea and one class to shoot the thing.
We had complete creative freedom and no direction.
This is a big problem with a group project. Everyone wanted to have their creative input but no one had an idea. We tossed around some traditional narrative ideas but none of them seemed plausible to shoot on 1 roll of film. Round and round we went.
I decided to go to the bathroom, like one does when they subsist wholly on coffee.
As I was washing my hands, I realized this was all silly. One, it doesn't have to be a magnum opus and TWO was the growing, deep need to throw the idea of a traditional narrative right out the damn window. We were in film school after all, it's a time to play and experiment and hopefully figure some cool shit out on they way.
I ended up washing my hands for a long time...the women's bathroom in the Film Studies Department had quickly become my thinking place: the department was mostly dudes so I could go there to be alone and clear my head.
So, I devised a loose concept that involved a series of scenelets (like piglets but for movie scenes) that each person could contribute to (provide props, direction, etc) and we would attempt an in-camera edit to use as much film as possible.
We had done in-camera edits for video projects before, but it has some challenges with shooting on film which needs to get up to speed, or so we learned. So, there ended up being some light editing.
We outlined the plan and everyone went home to gather some props.
I'm not sure how Adam got nominated to be the star, but obviously it was the right choice.
The day of the shoot, we set up some black velour backdrop (I was obsessed with how much it sucked up light on an earlier project) so the colors would really pop and because we wanted to cover up the green screen in our little on campus studio.
Then we went about the shoot.
Re-watching it, I'm seeing my penchant for long takes with extended moments was already strong.
As is still my way, I was worried about not having enough time, not enough film, (insert anything here) would go horribly wrong, but in the end we had footage to spare.
That's how you got the end title sequence that make even less sense than the rest of the movie, but Dave's performance really seals the deal for me.
So, that's the story and here's the film:
IMPORTANT: We made this bad boy in 3 hours. The edit was already mostly done in camera so post was nothing if you don't include the time we waited to get the film processed.
It was way fun and YOU, my friend, could do a film just like this (probably without the film - use your iphone or whatever image capturing devise you have.)
Get your buddies together and get out there and make something. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, through your ingrained concepts of what a film is or isn't out the window and just make something.
Then, when you are done, send it here: http://minneminifest.com/
It's a festival for all your silly films and imaginings - they just have to be under 2 minutes!
You can do it!
So get our there and make something and hopefully you can see it on the big screen soon.